Wishes in the Wind

dandelion fluff

Closed my eyes and wished

The wind whisked my dreams away

Somewhere a weed grows

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Senryū written for dVerse Poets Pub Weed Appreciation Day.

Two for Tuesday ~ Teachers

Mamma Mia 2

Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

This was a Daily Prompt last week, and I’m just now getting ’round to it. The image is from Mamma Mia (2) ~ Here We Go Again when the three girls (Donna and the Dynamos) graduated university while singing “When I Kissed the Teacher.” I can’t decide if MM2 surpassed MM1 (simply called Mamma Mia!), so I keep watching them both repeatedly in order to try to make a decision. On the one hand, MM1 had the best songs and lots of Meryl Streep, but otoh MM2 had Lily James (I really love her) and all the characters as their younger selves, which was so well done. They both had Christine Baranski, one of my most favorite actors ~ she is absolutely hilarious. I’ll let you know if I ever decide which movie I prefer, and in the meantime I am forced to watch both yet again. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So. Teachers. I have to say, without naming names because I’ve mostly forgotten them, that my early ed teachers were pretty meh. They clearly favored the cute, athletic kids, of which I was neither, so I not only felt like an outcast from my peers for being fat and klutzy, but I didn’t feel that the teachers wanted me there either.

That’s a heavy bag of negative emotion for a little kid to lug around every day, and I didn’t have a large, supportive family or neighborhood friend group to make up for it, just my parents who were not that sympathetic. It’s not their fault they weren’t; they just didn’t have the experience to deal with it, plus “bullying” hadn’t hit the media yet, so no one gave a sh!t if kids made up mean nicknames for me. The teachers certainly knew I was being picked on, and yet they did nothing. It wasn’t just me ~ some of the smaller boys were physically hurt by the bullies, and no one helped them either. I guess I was lucky that mine was “only” verbal. If you’re thinking that all the not-cute, not-athletic kids could have bonded and created their own awesome friend group… you’ve been watching too much fiction.

Pink and purple paper doll girls

My college teachers at CSUN though were marvelous. I learned so much from them: philosophy, poetry, creative writing, etc. It was a fabulous experience. I wasn’t there to make friends and party, however; I was an “older” student at that point, married, and I did not live that close to campus, but commuted from the other side of the Valley (Glendale to Northridge). There are two notable moments that stand out in my mind regarding my college professors.

One was a philosophy professor, Dr. M. I took a logic class from him, and in my youthful arrogance I decided I did not have to bother learning the boring formulas because, early on, my own reasoning got me to the correct answer every time. I received 100% on the first quiz. So far so good, right? On the next quiz I received a D. I freaked out utterly and burst into tears the second I left the room. There was no way back from this, so I decided to drop the class and filled out all the forms. The last thing I had to do was get Dr. M to sign the form. He refused! What?!? How could he refuse? He made me explain why I wanted to drop, so I told him the truth. He said he’d help me speed-learn the stuff I’d glossed over and I would end up OK. I agreed. And he was right. (This was a completely different experience from when I dropped AP Chem in high school ~ the teacher never helped me when I asked him to and didn’t give a crap.)

You know, I still throw stuff out that displeases me (like the paintings I did this past Saturday ~ barf), but I do think about Dr. M when it comes to jettisoning anything meaningful, not to mention having the confidence to try, try again.

Another notable moment was when my poetry professor, Ms. B, asked me to read some of my work aloud in a bookstore. Of course, I was terrible at it and my throat was so dry my voice cracked. I know this sounds like “stage fright,” and maybe it was, but I didn’t feel afraid of reading to an audience. In fact, I was really looking forward to it. My voice cracks when I read Dr. Seuss to my grandkids, so maybe it’s just a thing I have. In any case, that’s not the point. The point is that Ms. B, a well-regarded poet in her own right, thought I was good enough to read in front of a real audience ~ she didn’t ask everyone in the class. That gave me a huge boost of writing confidence that carries me to this day.

jump for joy heart balloon

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Self-Imposed Pressure

Hand keyboard typing dark

Create more content, pen some poetry, whip up a flash fiction piece, snap a pic of my cat. Get those stats up. My views have dropped. Comment count is trending down. Post, post, post! The pressure is on. Visit other bloggers, comment, engage. My averages have dipped. Don’t skip any prompts or challenges. Write, write, write! Don’t sleep, don’t eat. Keep staring at that screen. Where are the precious words? Why have they abandoned me? Flatlined.

Take a breath outside
Fluffy clouds float serenely
Nature’s refreshment

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday (pressure).


Student girl class school

Leila stared out of the classroom window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Brad as he walked off the soccer field. It had been two days since he’d texted her, and she checked her phone screen again to make sure she hadn’t missed any new messages—nope, nothing.

As she tried to quell her rising panic, Leila felt vague flutterings of despair—what if Brad had found a new girl and made Leila redundant? She couldn’t bear the notion that Brad would confide in the new girl, she would blab, and then every bully in the school would mock Leila relentlessly when they found out she and Brad had been together.

She supposed it served her right for dating a married coach with five children who had been voted hunk of the year by Heroes of Sport magazine; of course Brad would be an incorrigible playboy. Next time Leila would go for someone more stable, like, say, the cute math teacher right in front of her who was handing out next week’s assignment…

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 212 and Denise’s Six Sentence Story (screen).

Friendly Share [syw]

hand share world green

Do you have a lot of friends or do you know a lot of people ?

Di @ Pensitivity101 continues her Share Your World series today with a fresh set of questions.

I don’t know what counts as “a lot.” If we’re going by Facebook “friends,” I probably have fewer than average for someone my age, and many of those folks I haven’t met in person anyway. I wouldn’t even say I know them; I only see whatever image they wish to project. There are maybe a dozen folks “in real life” I would call close friends, but no one will ever approach the closeness I feel toward my daughters.

If you are at a party and know very few of the guests, do you mingle and introduce yourself, sit on the sidelines and people watch, or discreetly leave?

I have done each of these things at various times. It all depends on my mood, what I’m hoping to achieve, and/or the purpose of the gathering. These days, I don’t often end up at a “party” of this type ~ mostly I attend events where I already know many of the peeps and/or am interested enough in the purpose to hang out and socialize.

What is the best job you have ever had?

My current one ~ legal secretary at a small real estate law firm.

Can you swim?

I know the basics, but I wouldn’t count on being able to deal with any sort of current. I don’t enjoy being in the water, so I stay out of it and gaze at the waves from the safety of the sand.

beach sand rocks ocean sky

Gratitude: I’m thankful I was able to spend time with my grands yesterday.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TMP101: Touching Me, Touching You

TMP monday peeve kitty cat

Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.

It’s not a secret that I dislike being touched. Well, if it was, it’s not now! In any case, when you don’t know someone, you should not presume that it is OK to touch them unless you’re pulling them out of a fire or whatever. Don’t we all know this? Anyway, on Saturday I went up to Los Angeles for a concert at a small club (as opposed to a giant arena). I had a great time overall, but one thing bugged me. The concert was SRO, and my friends and I were hanging at the outer edge, which was fine for us. There was a couple (man/woman) next to us who were very exuberant and affectionate with each other, which is fine, but it was a confined space with little room to maneuver. The man left to get more drinks and a few new people squished in. When the man returned, the woman apparently thought it would be a great idea to push a smaller person deeper into the crowd so she and her guy could have more room. Guess who the smaller person was?

I moved up a little to be accommodating, but she kept pushing me. Literally. With her hands. On my back. Finally, I said “STOP.” She said, “But there’s more room.” I said, “So YOU move up.” She gave up at that point and continued to stand at the edge with her dude, and I continued to stand at the edge with my friends. Note that she didn’t try this with my male friend who was actually closer to her, since he was on the large side. Nope. I’m small, so therefore (in her mind) she can touch me. WTF? What gave this crazy woman the idea that she could just shove people around like checkers on a board? Maybe it was the alcohol…

PS: This will be my last official TMP until May 1, since my 26 A-Z April posts will be all about nopes. You can use the Monday nopes to link to for peeves during April, if you wish.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

When Healing Begins

Sexy blonde with mask feather

Whispers and secrets
Float through the room
Like venomous feathers
Precursors of doom
Spirals of scandals
Spill from her maw
Truth is held hostage
Scars are rubbed raw
Bone-weary spirits
Shedding layers of sins
Feel rushes of censure
When healing begins

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Sunday Whirl Wordle 598 (spiral rushes feather raw healing truth layers scar scandals whispers bone-weary secrets).

Big thanks to whoever bought my book Ghosted after I noted that I am behind on my one sale per month streak. I really appreciate it!

Aphelion [mlmm]

Universe space

I orbit, as if
You were a star,
A sun; I’m too light
To eclipse you,
Too heavy to break
Free of your waves.

The dark grows colder
And my will dissipates;
I have reached the farthest
Point on my journey:
The abyss calls my name.

Gravity wanes,
I have but a moment
To recalibrate.
Familiarity beckons,
But how vast
Is this space and

So full of grace.


Originally posted 9/2/2021 and reposted for MLMM Sunday Confessionals (the sun).

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

More Sunday Dawdles

gatsby window cat

Rory @ Earthly Comforts gives us a new set of questions today for his Dawdler series.

Is the WHY to everything important?

Perhaps eventually, but sometimes it’s best just to make a decision and get on with it already. Not everything needs to be analyzed to death when there are tasks to accomplish.

What would you list as your Top Five Fun Things?

Staying home and reading, writing, painting, and/or watching TV with my cat (4). Playing board games with family or friends, as long as everyone is being chill and not taking the games too seriously.

Should we care about the dreams of others or only our own?

I’m taking this literally as actual dreams we have while sleeping. That said, I find other people’s dreams immensely boring, so I can only assume that mine are boring to hear as well. I think the tedium factor is inversely proportional to how fascinated we are by our own dream and its zillions of vivid and strange details. Yawn…

How well do you deal with criticism from others?

It depends. My children can do no wrong, so they can say whatever they wish to me. If I’m at work, I take correction in stride. If an editor is working with me to get my work published, I have no problem with criticism. If I ask to be critiqued, then I appreciate any constructive feedback. But when randos show up here just to get attention by saying something edgy, their comments get binned. I have no tolerance for unsolicited criticism from strangers or even people I know who are just in the mood to be rude.

My philosophy is to take a moment and ask myself why I have the desire to be critical. It usually ends up being more about me than the other person, so it’s better to keep quiet. But in the case of someone being aggressive, then it’s entirely appropriate to tell them to back off.

Do you say YES or NO more often, and which is it?

Take a guess! LOL

What is nose hair for?

Filtering out dust and other bad stuff.

What is the funniest comment you have ever received?

That I should do whatever it is I’ve gone to great lengths explaining why I don’t want to do the thing, such as travel or date or engage in some sport. I’m like do you even read, bro?

Novels or Netflix?


Do good things come to those who wait?

Not necessarily. Sometimes we pass up a good thing because we’re holding out for something great, and then we end up with nothing.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

SLS: Hunger Strike

roses music

The above photo neither depicts grunge music nor grunge fashion, but I don’t really like any of the images I found for Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt today. I do like some of the songs from that era though, in particular “Hunger Strike,” which I quoted in my book Ghosted. Remember Ghosted? Sadly, I seem to have broken my streak of selling one book per month and am now selling one less than that. You do the math.

I don’t mind stealin’ bread from the mouths of decadents
But I can’t feed on the powerless when my cup’s already overfilled, yeah
But it’s on the table, the fire’s cookin’
And they’re farmin’ babies, while slaves are workin’
The blood is on the table and the mouths are chokin’
But I’m goin’ hungry, yeah

“Hunger Strike” was written by Chris Cornell (RIP) and recorded by his band Temple of the Dog in 1991 as the first single from their eponymous studio album. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard Mainstream Rock, making it their most commercially successful song. Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder duet on the vocals. Check Wikipedia for more info about the song. And enjoy!

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.